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MAY, 1941 

Alexander Johnson 

Alexander Johnson, affectionately known to thousands of 
friends as “Uncle Alec,” died recently at the home of his son 
in Aurora, Illinois at the age of ninety-four. Wonderful years 
were his and wherever his footsteps led there was helpfulness, 
encouragement, good cheer and an uplifting of those who suf- 
fered socially, mentally, and physically. 

In the days of the great Ohio flood in Cincinnati in 1882 
he gave up his business to become secretary of the Associated 
Charities of Cincinnati. He went from there to Chicago as 
secretary of the Charity Organization Society. He then became 
secretary of the Indiana State Board of Charities and later su- 
perintendent of the Indiana School for the Feeble-Minded, then 
general secretary of the National Conference of Charities and 
Corrections, and later field secretary of the National Committee 
on Provision for the Feeble-Minded. 

To all of these things he gave his utmost. His most out- 
standing characteristic was, I think, his understanding and 
appreciation of younger men and women. He had a gift for 
teaching to such a degree that his students took great pride in 
being able to say, “I studied under Alexander Johnson.” 

He wrote a number of articles and books on social welfare 
which have served as text books, such as “Forty Years in So- 
cial Work,” “Guide to Studies of Charity and Correction” and 
“The Alms House.” 

During his many visits to The Training School he endeared 
himself to all of the children and the members of the staff. 


The Training School Bulletin 

We feel that our best tribute to his memory is his own 
words in the dedication and parts of the prologue of his book 
“Adventures in Social Welfare,” written in 1928. Editor 

“To the Social Workers of America, my 
companions and workfellows, whose courage, 
cheerfulness, loyalty and warm, human 
friendliness have made my life among them 

a fortunate and happy one: I lovingly dedicate 
this record of forty years’ adventuring.” 

“When I contrast the full and interesting life I have had 
during the past forty years with the dull, monotonous grind 
which probably would have been mine had I early learned to 
make money and become absorbed in that narrowing occupation, 
I am devoutly grateful to the friends who persuaded me to a- 
dopt the most facinating of professions. A man can have no 
better fortune than that the labor by which he lives brings such 
satisfaction that if he did not need to work for wages he would 
gladly do it without. Such good fortune many a social worker 
shares with real artists, devoted physicians, true preachers, a 
few fine craftsmen, every great scientist and some other happy 

“Not that social work knows no pain, anxiety, disappoint- 
ment, failure, defeat. He would be indeed a fortunate adven- 
turer for whom all winds were favorable, who never misread 
his chart, whose ship cleared every rock and shoal. Social work, 
as Cabot says, is one of the dangerous occupations and its mon- 
ey rewards are small. But its real compensations are great; 
at any rate one old worker thinks so, and indeed is so sure of 
it that he wants to tell the fact to all who will read his true 

“The wise old Greek said, ‘Call no man happy till he is 
dead.’ perhaps we may revise his wisdom a little and say ‘until 
he had retired.’ When a man has given up active work, is six 
years past the psalmist’s ill-considered limit of threescore and 
ten, and is well content with his lot so far, he may reasonably 
hope for immunity from serious unhappiness during the brief 
span which will be his. 

“One incident gave me my first knowledge, often reenforced 
since, of how “charity” is hated and feared by the decent poor. 


The Training School Bulletin 

The working people of Lancashire were the sturdiest, least sub- 
servient, most democratic of English folk. Peter Benson, an 
old weaver, was a deacon of the little Baptist chapel of which 
my father was a pillar (father always went where he thought 
he was needed instead of to a church wherein he might have 
found customers for his tailor shop). We were sure the Ben- 
son family must be near the breaking point and, knowing they 
would starve rather than apply to the relief fund, father took 
me with him when we went with the offer of a few shillings 
of my uncle’s money; he had little enough of his own by this 
time, for business was at a standstill in the cotton district. The 
sturdy old man refused the bitter bread of charity, declared 
they were all right, they had no need. All father’s eloquence 
seemed in vain until he said ‘Well, Peter, let’s tell the Lord 
about it.’ Whereupon we all went down on our knees and in 
a few moments the whole household was in tears. Father pray- 
ed that we might be delivered from wicked pride, hardness of 
heart and stiffness of neck, be humble-minded and willing both 
to give and receive the tokens of love from each other as well 
as from God. When ‘Amen’ sounded, Peter, who was weeping 
like the rest, said, ‘John Johnson, thou are right, I am a proud 
and wicked man, I have lied to thee. We took our last penny 
from the savings bank five days agone and there’s not a crust | 
in the house.’ 

“Think what it meant to be a beginner in social work with- 
out all that the Schools for Social Workers now teach; all that 
Warner, Devine, Gillin, Mary Richmond and so many others have 
written for us. Perhaps I as one of the untrained beginners 
may contribute a few suggestions about the early years of or- 
ganized charity which may be of use when some great philos- 
opher shall write ‘The History of Social Endeavor.’ If as a 
philosopher should be, he is also a poet he may find or invent 
the wished for word for our profession to replace that present 
name, which many people find unsatisfactory. 

“One of the charms of the profession of social work is its 
versatility. No matter where you begin if you begin aright the 
whole field is open. As with Napoleon’s conscripts the marshal’s 
baton is in every knapsack. President Eliot says the educated 
man is one who knows everything about something and some- 
thing about everything. So with the social worker; he must 
know his own job thoroughly and have a general idea of all the 


The Training School Bulletin 

“The Art of social work began before the dawn of history. 
It was well developed before the Pentateuch was written. The 
agent of a League for Social Welfare or the director of a Legal 
Aid Society, may be well content if he can honestly rank him. 
self with the patriarch Job. 

“But the Science of social work without which it can hard- 
ly be counted a profession is recent. The first hint that we had 
at the National Conference of Charities and Correction that such 
a science could be recognized by a University, was in 1893, 
Warner’s first edition of ‘American Charities,’ among the earl- 
iest books to treat the subject scientifically, was new then. Hen- 
derson was led into applied sociology and to writing ‘Depen- 
dents, Defectives, and Delinquents’ and his other books; thru 
his experiences in organizing Associated Charities in Terre 
Haute and Detroit. 

“The term ‘social worker’ was chiefly used at first to mean 
an agent of the organized charities; but the term soon took on 
a wider meaning. I felt myself just as much a social worker 
when I was inspecting prisons, hospitals, jails and poorhouses 
for a Board of State Charities, or conducting a school for feeble- 
minded; as when I was secretary of an Associated Charities or 
of the National Conference of Charities and Correction. 

“Because I want my experiences to be really of value to 
those for whom I write—to whom my book is dedicated—I shall 
tell them frankly of much gratifying success; making friends 
for myself and my work; doing things and getting things done. 
But I shall tell them also as frankly (or almost as frankly) of 
disappointing failures; some caused by error about facts or of 
opinion; some by other people’s derelictions; some by over-am- 
bition or undue haste or by circumstances quite beyond my con- 
trol and which could not have been foreseen; and some because 
I let temptation, bad advice, seeming expediency, even coward- 
ice, warp my judgment about what was best and worst. 

“I write out of long and sometimes painful experience when 
I counsel social workers to obey Emerson, and ‘always do what 
you are afraid to do.’ I have always been glad when I have 
faced ‘life’s ragged and dangerous front’ and done the evidently 
right thing although disaster threatened; I have never ‘taken 
counsel with my fears’ without regret following fast.” 


The Training School Bulletin 

State Program for the Care of the 
Mentally Deficient 

By WILLIAM J. ELLIs, LL.D., Commissioner 
Department of Institutions and Agencies, Trenton, New Jersey 


Programs developed for the care of the mentally deficient 
in the United States reflect the special conditions and back- 
grounds of the different states, their social and economic re- 
sources and their attitude toward the importance and urgency 
of the problem. Practically all states have gone through some- 
what similar steps in developing programs which follow cur- 
rent thought and the results of research studies. Certain states 
have been pioneers in the development of specialized types of 
care due largely to the work of individual administrators, edu- 
cators, psychologists and medical specialists who have led the 

Certain general principles in existing state programs are . 
discernible. These may be summarized as follows: 

1. Identification and registration of the mentally deficient. 

2. Institutional care with training programs to meet indi- 
vidual needs. 

3. Community care for persons not needing institutional 
training and for those who have been released from in- 

4. Special classes in public schools for those not requiring 
institutional care. 

5. Research along medical, psychological, eugenic, educa- 
tional and social lines. 

The understanding of the needs of the mentally deficient 
has changed materially in recent years. Not long ago many 
persons believed that all feeblemindedness was hereditary in 
origin, that the mentally deficient were a threat to civilization 
and a menace to the community, that the reproduction rate 

* Reprinted from the American Journal of Mental Deficiency, Vol. XLV, No. 3, Jan., 1941. 


The Training School Bulletin 

was enormous, that most feebleminded were delinquents ang 
most delinquents were feebleminded. The policy most generally 
advocated was for more and more institutions to be set up for 
permanent custodial care. But time has changed our view- 
point, and more study and understanding have brought a dif- 
ferent emphasis to the fore. 

The problem of mental deficiency is today looked upon ag 
essentially a problem of child development to be tackled as early 
as possible by the community in which the child lives. As a 
result, progressive child care methods are being brought into 
play. Moreover, the keynote of modern care is integration of 
all types of service, community and institutional, for all grades 
of the subnormal from idiots to those of borderline intelligence. 
And with better clinical methods and more understanding has 
come a clearer comprehension of the facts in relation to diag- 
nosis, treatment and training, and community adjustment. 


The 1930 White House Conference on Child Health and 
Protection suggested that fully 15 per cent of the total popula- 
tion falls within the range of low intelligence. Best estimates 
place the number of feebleminded in the general population as 
one per cent with probably two per cent of the juveniles so clas- 
sified. These estimates would indicate that persons whose in- 
telligence is below the average group total nineteen million, of 
whom 1,300,000 would be classed as definitely feebleminded. 

The feebleminded now institutionalized in the United States 
number about 100,000 or 8 per cent of the estimated feeble- 
minded population, while the number of retarded children in 
special classes in this country is estimated at only slightly more 
than 100,000. These figures indicate not merely the need for 
institutions with progressive educational programs but the ur- 
gent problem which faces the community in developing adequate 
means of dealing with those who do not require institutional 


Institutional care is without question still necessary for 
certain groups of the mentally deficient, but if institutions are 
to achieve their most useful purpose, we must press constantly 
for the modification of mere custodial care to the development 
of effective training plans directed toward socialization of the 


The Training School Bulletin 

feebleminded, with community return as the goal for a large 

Today institutional care is considered advisable for those 
who can profit by a program of vocational and social training 
which will prepare them for return to community life. It is 
also necessary to use the institution for those whose develop- 
ment is so arrested that they are a serious burden to the family 
and community or a danger to themselves and to society. In- 
stitutional care is also required for that group whose develop- 
ment is so retarded that the outlook is for prolonged or per- 
manent care in an environment where they can function to the 
maximum of their individual abilities. 


In developing the institutional program for the mentally 
deficient in New Jersey it has been recognized from the outset 
that the different mental levels and classifications of individuals 
must first be considered and that other factors such as help- 
lessness, crippling and misconduct must also be taken into ac- 

The first institution for the mentally deficient in New 
Jersey was a private enterprise, The Training School at Vine- 
land, established in 1888. This school has been throughout the 
years a pioneer in the development of training programs and 
research into causative and remedial factors. Other institu- 
tions have been developed as the need arose and each has been 
assigned a definite function in the total program. 

The State Colony at Woodbine receives male idiots and low 
grade imbeciles above five years of age as well as imbeciles and 
morons below 8 years of age for habit training. The New Lis- 
bon Colony receives feebleminded boys 8 years of age and over, 
higher than the low grade imbecile level. The Vineland State 
School receives feebleminded females over 5 years of age of 
all mental levels while the North Jersey Training School re- 
ceives girls between 8 and 21 who are mentally retarded but 
who are trainable, and for whom the outlook is for community 
rather than continued institutional care. 

Training has been emphasized throughout in social and in- 
dustrial fields for community release in a controlled or semi- 
controlled environment. Others, for whom community place- 
ment is not feasible, are trained for better institutional adjust- 


The Training School Bulletin 

ment and for the performance of maintenance and other jobs 
in the institutions. 

Even the idiot group, which was formerly considered ip. 
capable of any real adjustment, has been organized in pro- 
gressive classes for the development and coordination of motor 
and physiological functions, for instruction in diversional and 
recreational activities and for the development of handwork 
projects with the result that random behavior has been re- 
directed toward the acquisition of socially desirable habits— 
all contributing to better adjustment. 


Colony care has been regarded as an essential part of an 
adequate state program. The original idea and the one that 
perhaps is followed most extensively is that of setting up simple 
housing facilities on land that can be developed and worked as 
a farming project. This provides useful employment, permits 
patients to contribute to their own support, is an outlet for 
energies, and, because of lessened routine and supervision, pro- 
motes a sense of freedom closely akin to that of a home in the 

These colonies utilize the physical energy of the boys, de- 
velop their abilities, reduce their limitations and stimulate in- 
terests. Such colonies are practical and humanitarian, a pro- 
tection to the individual and to society and an asset to the tax- 

In New Jersey the New Lisbon Colony for Feebleminded 
Males was operated originally as a colony for The Training 
School at Vineland with these ideas in mind. Although it has 
become a major state institution, it has retained many colony 
features. The Training School in 1913 established the Men- 
antico Colony for Boys, which has been operated successfully 
ever since. 

Another development of colony life is represented by the 
small industrial and domestic units established in communities 
in a number of states to bridge the gap between institutional 
and community life. These provide opportunity for the men- 
tally handicapped to adjust economically and socially. The 
number and size of the colonies is dependent upon the opportun- 
ities for community employment. Such a program provides a 
continuation in industrial and vocational training as well as 


The Training School Bulletin 

in social and economic efficiency which frequently makes pos- 
sible the successful development of stable cases to a self-support- 
ing status. 

New Jersey has provided this type of care in the Red Bank 
Service Center which is conducted by the Vineland State School 
as a training home. The Center is also used to provide “vaca- 
tion” periods from the main institution for selected girls. Girls 
are employed at domestic service in the community but live to- 
gether at the Center, contributing from their earnings toward 
their support. They may eventually be placed under supervi- 
sion in the community if they are sufficiently stable to merit 
a trial. 

The North Jersey Training School also has a program of 
intermediate training under which selected girls live at the in- 
stitution and go out each day to work in private homes in the 
vicinity. A summer camp away from the institution makes 
possible a recreational program and provides an intermediate 
type of supervision. 


The training program of the institutions in New Jersey 
aims at early release of those individuals for whom such a goal . 
is possible. When a boy or girl in a New Jersey institution 
has shown definite signs of social acceptability, when he has 
been successful at institutional and training tasks to which he 
has been assigned, the possibility of his release on trial in the 
community is considered by the institution’s classification com- 
mittee. The superintendent, the educational director, the psy- 
chologist, the physician, the social worker and other specialists 
serve aS members of the group. 

If home conditions are acceptable, he may be returned to 
his home with the supervising officer assisting the family in his 
adjustment and possibly obtaining employment for him outside 
the home. Domestic service is a desirable type of placement 
for girls since they have 24 hour supervision by the employer. 
Factory work, beauty parlor and laundry work are favorable if 
home conditions make possible the supervision of leisure time 
activities. For boys, farm placements, work with members of 
the family, laboring work, factory work, and clerking in stores 
have provided successful employment opportunities. 


The Training School Bulletin 

It has been the policy to “discharge” the patients if gey- 
eral years in the community have shown satisfactory adjust- 
ment and if there is no apparent need for further supervision, 
There is question whether this should be done unless sufficient 
supervision is to continue through some other community pro- 
gram. The White House Conference suggests: “Patients, even 
those succeeding, should not be discharged, if discharge means 
lapse of supervision. The handicap of feeblemindedness can 
never be completely overcome, and adverse environmental influ- 
ences may at any time make recommitment necessary.” 

It is generally recognized that institutional training can be 
made effective only by guiding and directing the feebleminded 
for a long period and perhaps throughout his entire life. It is 
important therefore, that patients and their parents receive ex- 
pert advice on behavior, employment, choice of companions, 
marriage, and other personal problems. This phase of the pro- 
gram requires serious consideration and development. 


Only a small percentage of the mentally deficient actually 
enter institutions. As a result, the state must look to the 
public school system for the training of that large number who 
do not actually require institutional care. The public schools 
must assume responsibility for the well-adjusted higher-grade 
mentally deficient of school age who are not seriously handi- 
capped physically, who come from reasonably good homes, and 
whose presence in the public school is not seriously detrimental 
to the best interests of normal children. 

For such mentally retarded children the school should pro- 
vide proper pre-vocational, habit and social training and oc- 
cupational programs together with such academic work as they 
can profitably undertake. There is need for the preparation of 
such pupils for useful and productive work in semi-skilled and 
unskilled occupations. Training in socially acceptable habits 
is of course a major objective. The special class movement 
which must recognize these needs, should be largely extended. 

In New Jersey the school laws prescribe that “in each 
school district in which there are ten or more children three 
years or more below normal, the board of education shall es- 
tablish a special class—no class, however, to contain more than 
fifteen children.” 


The Training School Bulletin 

However, it is true in some states that schools exclude men- 
ally subnormal children or fail to compel their attendance while 
others do not provide suitable instruction and facilities. 


The prevention of delinquency among the mentally deficient 
and the treatment of the defective delinquent merit serious con- 
sideration. Many children with minor behavior problems be- 
come adjusted when their mental deficiency is recognized, and 
proper school and home relationships established. Other chil- 
dren present complicating problems that cannot be met by their 
home communities, by schools or by their families. 

If they run the danger of becoming delinquent they must 
be trained to the limit of their capacities in the hope of making 
them socially acceptable. The ability of some of these delin- 
quent children is sometimes too high for intensive, intimate 
association with docile retarded children—and yet not high 
enough to be disregarded and commitment made to a correction- 
al institution. 

A separate unit is needed for children who are both men- 
tally deficient and have behavior, neurotic, or emotional distur- 
bances. At the Vineland State School a separate building is 
devoted to unstable cases. Patients from all institutions with 
more serious “commitable” psychopathic disturbances are trans- 
ferred to one of the State Hospitals for specific treatment. 

In New Jersey, transfer to institutions for the mentally 
deficient are made from homes for juvenile delinquents and in- 
stitutions for adult offenders on the recommendation of the in- 
stitutional classification committee and the Division of Classi- 
fication of the Department of Institutions and Agencies. 

There is general agreement that the defective delinquent 
who has a long criminal record should be institutionalized over 
a prolonged period, preferably in a colony type institution where 
he will have complete segregation, inexpensive housing, and 
productive and useful work. 


Since it is evident that the majority of the mentally defi- 
cient are not in need of institutional care, public responsibility 
extends to adequate educational and social service supervision 


The Training School Bulletin 

for those remaining in the community. These may include: 
1. The pre-school child, too young for institutional care. 
2. The school child. 
3. Graduates of special classes. 
4. Persons above school age. 

The United States Children’s Bureau recommends that 
“sound community planning would provide for every retarded 
child a careful study of his mental abilities and educational op- 
portunities adapted to his requirements within the public-school 
system. It would provide also a program of social services to 
help parents to understand their children’s limitations and ca- 
pacities and to plan for and guide the mentally handicapped 
children remaining in their own homes or returned to their 
homes after a period of training in an institution.” 

Special classes in the schools provide academic and pre- 
vocational training but seldom extend their work to community 
supervision either during the school years or the years that fol- 

_low. This field is one which might well be expanded, for many 
persons may be kept permanently out of institutions or out of 
trouble by assistance in planning work, recreation, and social 
contacts. It is essential, too, that graduates of public school 
special classes have the benefit of occupational placement and 

Employment service should be a part of the integrated 
state program for the non-institutional group as well as those 
who have left institutions. State employment agencies might 
catalog occupations suitable for retarded persons and maintain 
an employment list for them in the semi-skilled and unskilled 
occupations (with the repetitious features that do not displease 
the mentally deficient but may bore the more normal worker). 

Home training programs have been developed in some states 
to help the mentally deficient child make better adjustment in 
his family circle and to help the family understand the child’s 
possibilities and needs. Children too young for institutions or 
awaiting placement in them, and others whose parents wish to 
keep them at home, are eligible. After a psychological examin- 
ation to determine the mental age, the social worker brings a 
lesson to the child’s home, instructs the family how to use this 
material, and returns at periodic intervals to check progress 
and to leave new lessons. 


The Training School Bulletin 

Community supervision may also be extended to: 

1, Cases committed by the courts who can be self-support- 
ing (mostly in boarding and wage homes with frequent 
contact of the social worker with the employer and the 
person supervised). 

2. Cases not needing or deserving commitment through the 
courts but receiving the same intensive service in self- 
direction, self-maintenance, and social usefulness. 

Family care in foster homes is likewise being used experi- 
mentally for the feebleminded instead of institutional commit- 
ment in a few states, following in some measure the systems 
used for both the mentally ill and the mentally deficient in 
Belgium, France, Germany, Switzerland and Scotland. 

Two of the leaders of this Association, Dr. Edgar A. Doll 
of the Vineland Training School and Dr. Horatio M. Pollock of 
Albany, have given impetus to a better understanding of the 
possibilities of family care through their recent publications. 

Family care for the mentally deficient has proved practical 
when patients are properly selected, when suitable families can 
be found, and, most important of all, where there is adequate 
supervision. The tranquillity of a good foster home may supply 
the proper emotional background for a mentally deficient child 
who is a behavior problem because of home conditions or be- 
cause of having to compete with normal children in the home. 
Among the older groups, family care is effective for those whose 
social competence is superior to their mental competence and 
who can readily adjust in a home environment. 

It is highly desirable that the results of the various ex- 
periments in family care in the United States be carefully re- 
corded and studied, for family care may prove an effective 
means of maintaining in the community a considerable number 
of the mentally deficient who otherwise might seem to require 
commitment to an institution. 


In order to plan a program for the mentally deficient, it 
is necessary to locate and diagnose them. Formerly only the 
low grade feebleminded were recognized early by their families 
and others in the neighborhood. The higher grade of the men- 
tally deficient generally escaped attention and so did not benefit 


The Training School Bulletin 

by special training unless physical handicaps or delinquent ten. 
dencies existed. 

Over the years the means of diagnosis have been greatly 
augmented in scope and improved in precision. The community 
mental hygiene clinics, now developed in considerable numbers, 
are able to give complete diagnostic service and with the aid 
of their psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers to an- 
alze the individual’s mental assets and liabilities, and to determ- 
ine the type of care—home, school or institutional—best suited. 
Such clinic services are available in a number of states through 
travelling clinics of state welfare or mental hygiene depart- 
ments. Larger municipalities have their own clinics under 
school, court, hospital, or welfare auspices. 

In view of the responsibility which the state has in pro- 
tecting and controlling certain types of mentally deficient it 
becomes desirable that a central state registry be maintained, 
to which information would be brought from all agencies and 
individuals dealing with the mentally deficient. Such a central 
registry offers an effective means of coordinating activities in 
behalf of the mentally deficient and the information gathered 
is extremely useful for research purposes. 


Recent years have witnessed an increasing tendency for 
state and local agencies to cooperate in dealing with the men- 
tally deficient. Nevertheless there are still gaps in the program. 
Many communities in many states fail to recognize and help pre- 
school children who are mentally deficient and too young for 
institutions, and those in schools. Vocational and manual train- 
ing is a need of many children while vocational placement and 
supervision of those leaving special classes would assist greatly 
in their community adjustment. 

The real job ahead is to tie together in a coordinated pro- 
gram the work done by public agencies including departments 
of welfare, institutions and agencies, education and labor, and 
by health, family and child welfare agencies. 


The direction in which we should be moving to meet the 
problem of the mentally deficient may be indicated somewhat as 


The Training School Bulletin 

Increase and improve facilities to discover the mentally de- 
ficient in their earliest years. 

Make the public school system aware of the special needs 
of mentally deficient children of school age and integrate their 
program with that of normal pupils. 

Provide community care and supervision for those who 
have received public school training or have returned from in- 
titutions. Emphasize in institutional programs socialization of 
the most hopeful and early return to the community. 

Provide adequate care in special institutions for those 
showing definite and persistent anti-social tendencies. 

Register with a central state agency all mentally deficient 
who present problems inimicable to society and for whom special 
provision should be made. 

Conduct research to evaluate the effects of current pro- 
grams and to render possible clues as to methods by which the 
consequences of mental deficiency may be prevented. 

The Fifty-third Annual Meeting 
of the 
Training School Association and their Friends 
Will Be Held on 
Wednesday, June ll, 1941 

The Training School Bulletin 

Who is My Neighbor? 

There are few people who lived in a country neighborhood 
over a quarter of a century ago, and went to the little roadside 
school, who cannot call up characters that they knew and play- 
ed with, and who in some cases are remembered now as pathetic 
individuals, because they were teased and bullied by the boys 
or snubbed by the girls in the group. But more often they are 
remembered as the outstanding characters in the neighborhood 
because they were older and yet always ready to play games, 
to skate or coast or go fishing. They had plenty of time to 
mend a doll or pick berries or climb to the top of the tallest 
tree to get ripe cherries or shake down chestnuts. 

‘Such friends were George and Lewis, who though grown 
to years of manhood still marched off to district school every 
winter to read in the second reader and to say over and over 
their “two times two” which they had learned by heart, but 
without the slightest comprehension, a dozen years before. Such 
was the situation in the girlhood days of my mother, but when 
her children became a part of the community, George and Lewis 
were still there and stand out as two of the most loyal and de- 
voted friends they ever had. 

Their father, True, was a simple-minded man of great phys- 
ical strength who earned his living mostly in the north woods 
because there he had the supervision and direction of the other 
lumbermen. But one day poor True did not “happen to see” 
a great tree that was being felled by another chopper and after 
that True’s family, his wife, Hannah a poor simple-minded 
woman, and George and Lewis were left without the strong 
arms and back of him, who had been, head of the household. 

However, Josiah, a very shrewd, eccentric, little old man 
was their uncle who lived just across the way. He kept an eye 
on the “boys” and saw to it that their little farm produced 
most of the essentials of their living. The “boys” did odd jobs 
on the neighboring farms, to buy their clothes. However, their 


The Training School Bulletin 

simple tasks gave them plenty of leisure which was always 
taken advantage of by the children of the neighborhood. I can 
see them now treking down over the hill early in the morning, 
always in single file with “old Tigus” at their heels. We were 
always ready to greet them for it was seldom that from some 
pocket there did not appear a handful of chestnuts, a shiny 
apple or perhaps a grotesque object whittled by the cunning 
knife of Lewis. From his hand came the best willow whistles 
and even a wooden doll was not unknown to appear. 

The neighbors understood them well, even though they did 
not speak of them in terms of I. Q’s. or of their mental ages 
which were probably about six or seven. But when sickness 
or trouble came to the little old house under the hill my mother 
would gather together her emergency basket and hurry away 
to watch over and care for them until they were better. The 
men in the families would create jobs for the “boys” and had 
great patience with their lazy, stupid habits. I remember well 
that George could never be taught to pick potatoes in the field 
except by picking them up very carefully one at a time in his 
right hand and then with equal care put it in his left hand and 
then into the basket. 

My brother and I once told Lewis we would do something 
wonderful for him if he would jump over the pump, never dream- 
ing there might be a limit to the athletic achievements of his 
long legs. He made a herculean effort but only succeeded in 
smashing his face and breaking a tooth. My grandmother 
scurried to the scene and Lewis was repaired, given sympathy 
and a treat, and sent home while the two guilty children were 
banished to solitude for the rest of the day. 

It was true that the “boys” had to be watched and that 
they frequently got into mischief but their simple life and en- 
vironment gave them a good deal of protection, and their pranks 
were not serious. 

At last poor old Hannah grew weaker and more senile and 
couldn’t “tell the boys what to do.” Gradually they became 
confused and frustrated and could not find the way by them- 
selves. They were no longer happy and carefree but were in- 
clinded to be melancholy, and wander aimlessly. Finally, 
when Hannah had gone they were taken to the County Alms- 
house where they lived only a few years. 


The Training School Bulletin 

Last summer I pushed my way through the tangled under. 
brush of the little graveyard on the hilltop, where side by side 
the whole family lies. So far as I know not a relative remains, 
I realized that in each case my family and the other neighbors 
had helped, protected, guided and finally followed each one to 
his grave in this secluded spot. They had lived out their simple, 
harmless lives and generation because of the Community Care 
that they had gratuitously received, and not one of their ben- 
efactors realized that they were controlling a difficult social 



Harvard Summer School is offering from July 7 to August 16 an 
opportunity for study in Remedial Reading, Statistical Methods, Edu- 
cational Psychology, Educational Measurement, Problems of Growth and 
Behavior of Children. 

Dr. Walter F. Dearborn is giving the course on the Behavior Prob- 
lems of Children. Associated with him in giving this course are: Dr. 
Douglas A. Thom, Dr. William Healy and Mr. Cheney C. Jones. The course 
in Abnormal and Dynamic Psychology will be given by Associate Professor 
Donald W. MacKinnon of Bryn Mawr College. 

The University of Alabama in their courses in psychology will give 
special attention to mental hygiene, child psychology, teaching, remedial 
reading, and mental testing of exceptional children. These courses begin 
on June 9 and July 19. 

There will be a double period course on “Problems of Mentally and 
Educationally Retarded Children,” carrying three credits, at Duke Uni- 
versity beginning July 1, and continuing for three weeks. This course will 
be repeated for a second three weeks, continuing to August 12. The course 
will be under the direction of Dr. J. E. W. Wallin, Division of Special Edu- 
cation and Mental Hygiene of Delaware. Those wishing to register must 
apply at once. 

The Training School Bulletin 

American Association on 
Mental Deficiency | 

Salt Lake City, Utah, June 20 - 24, 1941 

Since 1876 this Association has held an Annual meet- 
ing, the purpose being to study and investigate all subjects 
pertaining to the cause, prevention, instruction, care and 
general welfare of the mentally deficient. 


The construction of institutions for the feebleminded. 

Clinical and pathological investigation to determine 
more exactly the causes of mental deficiency. 

A complete census and registration of all mentally de- 
ficient children of school age. 

The establishment of special classes for feebleminded 
children in large towns and cities. Proper after-care of 
special class pupils. 

Extra-institutional supervision of all defectives in the 

The segregation of mentally deficient persons in insti- — 
tutional care and training, with a permanent segregation 
of those who cannot make satisfactory social adjustments 
in the community. 

Parole for all suitable institutionally trained mentally 
defective persons. 

These objectives require cooperation on the part of psy- 
chologists, psychiatrists, teachers, social workers, parole 
officers, court officers, prison officers, physicians and all in- 
telligent citizens. 

One of the most important functions of the Association 
has been its endeavor to present the work done by the Asso- 
ciation through the Annual publication of the Proceedings. In 
1940 it undertook to meet the demand for a quarterly Journal. 
The first issue of the American Journal of Mental Deficiency 
appeared in July. 

The Association membership fee of $4.00 includes a subscrip- 
tion to the Journal. 
Dr. E. A. WHITNEY, Elwyn, Pa., Sec’y. 


The Training School Bulletin 

Notes From The News Sheet 

We have had an interesting time watching a robin build her nest 
in a tree by the porch at Carol Cottage. First we found five blue eggs in 
her nest and just two days ago we found three babies and still two 
and one day later there were four babies and now there are five baby birds, 
We are hoping they will grow to be very pretty robins. 

Mr. Horton has dug up our flower bed for us and we have planted 
our seeds and are sure we will soon have some pretty flowers. We are go 
glad for this nice weather. We stay in the grove most all day playing 
ball and other games and enjoying the new sand box and swings. 

On Sunday, May 18th I had a very lovely day. Roger, one of my 
best friends had a visit from his mother. She took him out over Saturday 
night. On Sunday morning she came back to pick me up. We went for a 
ride down to Atlantic City. We walked on the Boardwalk for awhile. Then 
we had a very nice lunch. We walked on the Boardwalk a little after 
lunch and then we saw a fine movie. It was called “Meet John Doe.” After 
the movie we drove back to Vineland. Then we had our supper down town 
in Vineland. I certainly had a very enjoyable day. 

The boys in Branson cottage have been playing a few baseball games 
with the members of the Red, White and Blue Club. 

Mr. Horton and his father decorated the stage at Garrison Hall very 
beautifully for Easter. They took plants and formed a very lovely cross. 
Colorful spring flowers were placed in vases around the stage. I think it 
was one of the nicest and prettiest stages we have had for some time. Near 
the stage were some pets. The animals that are always associated with 
Easter: rabbits. The boys and girls gave some recitations and Mrs. Aker 
had the choir sing and that added a lot to the assembly. All of us hada 
wonderful Easter. 

The Hutchinson children had a May Day party out on the lawn. 
Each one of the little boys wore a fancy hat to match the streamers on 
the May Pole. Guests from a number of cottages were invited and the 
children entertained with short recitations of nursery rhymes, songs, games 
and dances. Every one had punch and cookies before they left. 

Several of the Babbitt boys celebrated birthdays recently. Bobby, 
George, Henry and Ned all celebrated with big cakes and ice cream. All 
of the boys helped Gordon celebrate his birthday last week. 

We hear that Jimmy is going to take part in the Annual Day en- 
tertainment. Jimmy is one of our best performers so the report may be 
true but I suppose we will all have to go to see the entertainment to be 
positive that he is in it. While we are writing about Jimmy we had better 
tell you that he wrote a play “The Green Hornet.” He and the other mem- 
bers of the Junior Boys Club enacted it for the Babbitt Staff. In fact these 
boys put on a house entertainment. In addition to the play there were 
recitations, singing and dancing. There was also some community singing 
before the play and Freddie’s newly developed bass voice could be heard 
booming through all the others. 

* These are copies of the notes as gathered by the children for their monthly News